News Briony McRoberts as Sam Hagen in 'Take the High Road'

The actress Briony McRoberts spent two decades taking character roles on television before making her biggest impact as the super-bitch Sam Hagen in Take the High Road, the Scottish soap opera screened nationally by ITV.

Reflective calm: Loch Lomond, where 'the scenery is stunning'

My life in travel: Gordon Strachan

'Loch Lomond is like a different country'

Francesco Molinari hit 10 birdies at Castle Stuart yesterday

Francesco Molinari's birdie blitz should keep family happy

Francesco Molinari made a dazzling start to the Scottish Open yesterday. The 29-year-old Italian leads after a 10-birdie course-record 62 at Castle Stuart in Inverness, against a field that includes the world No 1, Luke Donald, and 10 major champions.

Cameron at the Quaker Oats site

Cursed! The astonishing story of porridge's poster boy

David Cameron may yet come to regret his breakfast encounter with the shot-putting, kilt-wearing giant who has adorned cereal boxes across the land for many a chilly winter. David Randall unravels an amazing tale

A statue of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn

Spirit of Bannockburn thrives north of the border

While symbols of nationalism proliferate at the site of the battle, not everyone's mind is made up, says Hamish Macdonell

Dom Joly: The Mounties always get their phone call

I've finished my expedition to the glorious Okanagan Valley in British Columbia (Canada's California, apparently) investigating Ogopogo, the monster that is supposed to inhabit Lake Okanagan. Don't worry, I haven't gone all David Icke (yet) – this is for my new book, Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, and the subject gives me an excuse to visit some pretty interesting parts of the world. Canada was probably a brave choice for a first destination as it is seen as literary Mogadon by publishers. Bill Bryson supposedly wanted to write a book about the country but his publishers recoiled in horror. I love the place – I have a Canadian wife and spend every summer there – and hope to convert as many Brits as possible to the land of the beaver.

Toddler dies in caravan park lake

A 19-month-old boy has died after falling into a lake at a caravan park while on holiday with his parents.

TV crew killed in helicopter crash

A prominent Australian journalist is believed to be among three people killed in a helicopter crash.

Two men drown in lake

Two men in their 40s have drowned while swimming in a lake, police said today.

British student's body found

The body of a British student who went missing in the Amazon jungle has been found, it was confirmed today.

Pony pushed to death in lake by gang

Police are appealing for witnesses after a pony was pushed to its death in a lake.

Goebbels' lakeside property for sale

A lakeside property in Berlin once owned by the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels is up for sale at auction.

Noises Off, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

It is perfectly conceivable that you could sit through three acts of Michael Frayn's homage to the Great British farce and emerge thinking: "Thank God they don't make them like that any more". For anyone who grew up with the politically correct mores of the 1980s alternative-comedy scene, the idea of a theatre audience willingly subjecting themselves to an evening of unvarnished sexist stereotypes, double entendres, relentless running gags and, of course, those dropping trousers seems unimaginably alien.

Island of Bones, By Imogen Robertson

Lakes tale plunges to dark depths

Swan Lake, Coliseum, London

In London, ENB tend to dance their huge Swan Lake, the vast in-the-round production Derek Deane created for the Royal Albert Hall. This time, they're dancing Deane's smaller version, created for conventional theatres. And very satisfying it is too; a picture-book world with strong performances, particularly the Swan Queen and Prince of Daria Klimentová and Vadim Muntagirov. Peter Farmer's traditional designs frame the lake with delicately cut-out trees.

'Insulting' maps of Loch Lomond axed

Loch Lomond locals have forced park authorities to destroy copies of a new navigational chart.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003